Get ready to shop, nosh and stroll the verdant Memorial Park because the 42nd annual Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park kicks off March 22. For three days, festival goers can browse and buy fine art from more than 300 talented artists from around the country while enjoying one of the city's favorite parks.
"This is one of the premier fine art festivals in the country," says executive director Kelly Kindred. "The festival has been ranked in AmericanStyle Magazine's Top 10 Festivals for the past several years, and is a favorite of local art lovers."
Kindred adds that there are two new programs this year, Rising Talent and Fresh Perspective, both of which help foster new talent. And this year's featured artist — or artists, really — are the South Carolina "art couple" Signe and Genna Grushovenko.
The Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park is one of two fabulous outdoor fine art festivals produced by the nonprofit Arts Colony Association.
"I can't say how excited Genna and I are to be chosen as the featured artists," Signe says. "In our experience, Houstonians are an informed and hospitable audience and we take every chance we get to have our work in front of them."
The Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park is one of two fabulous outdoor fine art festivals produced by the nonprofit Arts Colony Association. The popular fall festival is held downtown in October.
The biannual festivals have raised more than $2.7 million for arts and service organizations in Houston, and this year all proceeds from the Memorial Park festival will go to 16 local charities including Bering Omega Community Services, SNAP and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Those groups provide the volunteers that are instrumental in putting on the festival.
So what kind of art can you see and buy? Just about everything from drawings to fiber art to paintings and sculptures. Also digital and traditional photography, wood and mixed media pieces like the Grushovenkos are known for.
"This is a juried festival," says Kindred. "So what you see are some of the best works by renowned artists from around the country, as well as some of the top Houston artists."
You will want to bring the little ones because there are plenty of interactive activities for them — and for the older ones, too. You can make your own hand wax art, mini art cars and skull masks. You'll also see real artists at work, browse their wares, enjoy food and beverage booths and be entertained by multicultural dance and music groups.
Do bring cash, as that's all the ticket booths take, and do take advantage of the free Park & Ride shuttles that will be running from Northwest Mall and the Downtown Theater District, because you won't find parking at the park site.
Bayou City Art Festival will take place from March 22 to 24 at Memorial Park. Tickets cost $15 at the gate or $13 if you buy now online; members get two free tickets (membership is just $150) and kids get in for $3 (admission is free for children two and under).